Search Site
Menu

Contributory Negligence Rule

Virginia is a Contributory Negligence Rule state, meaning, if you’ve been in an accident and you’ve contributed to causing the accident, even 1%, you can be found liable for the accident and your claim becomes moot.

For example, Ally crosses GW Parkway without looking both ways, stupidly trusting that no one would dare hit a pedestrian. Tom is driving home, messing with the music, texting Gale, playing with the temperature controls, and fixing his mirror, basically driving as negligently as possible. He hits Ally and she takes him to court.

The problem? The entire case is thrown out because the accident would not have happened had Ally not acted carelessly. It doesn’t matter that Tom was behaving negligently, because there is no proof that the accident would have happened without Ally’s poor decision. Ally contributed to her injuries and will pay the price for them.

This is what happens in a “Pure” Contributory Negligence state, which only applies to Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. In all the other 46 states the plaintiff’s recovery is simply diminished by the extent to which he or she contributed to the harm, also known as comparative negligence.

Defense attorneys are constantly trying to catch plaintiffs in the act of contributing to their accidents. What may seem benign to you, “I changed the radio station right before she rear-ended me,” might be all a defense attorney needs to poke holes into your liability. Defense attorneys are trying to prove that the plaintiff acted recklessly, and was negligent in protecting their own safety.

 

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE OR INSTRUCTION. MERELY AN INFORMATIVE POST.

Our Attorneys
Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Working with Curio Law firm especially with Justin was the most stress-free experience one can have working with attorneys. Justin was very knowledgeable and gave us advice commensurate with the best outcomes for us vs. the law firm. Curio Law is a v...

    Read more

    MNM Investments

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Rakin Hamad has been such a blessing to work with. His patience and empathy for his clients is 100% amazing. I am very happy with this practice and their attention to my case. On my way to justice being served. Thank you Rakin (Curcio Law)

    Read more

    Sheila Bell-Cregg

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Tom and his team are fantastic! He helped me settle a case for far more than I was able to negotiate on my own, and he will be the first person I call if anything happens in the future. He set reasonable expectationsand worked quickly which is exac...

    Read more

    Paul Lascko

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I was represented by Justin Curcio, Esq . of Curcio Law for a personal injury claim. My experience with Curcio Law has been nothing but outstanding. I was kept apprised of the entire legal process, which was handled in a most professional, informati...

    Read more

    Richard Albano

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    After suffering a horrific motor vehicle accident, I contacted the Curcio Law firm. I was represented by Justin Curcio, Esq. I couldn't have been in more capable hands. Mr. Curcio handled every aspect of my case and kept me informed of each step a...

    Read more

    maria albano

See all reviews
Awards & Memberships
Settlements & Verdicts
  • "$213,000.00 Jury Verdict, Auto Accident, Hand injury"

  • "$1,500,000.00, Auto Accident, Wrongful Death"

  • "$100,000.00, Auto Accident, Broken Leg"

  • "$493,000.00, Auto Accident, Brain injury, broken rib, facial lacerations"

  • "$190,000.00, Auto Accident, Brain injury"

Contact us

Quick Contact Form